Monday, March 29, 2010

The Cool Woman by John Aubrey Anderson

Bill Mann seemed to be leading the charmed life. After a year of pilot training he earned his wings. He was the best in his class. He was married to the woman of his dreams. Then he was shipped to Viet Nam.

He was the best fighter pilot in his unit. He could even fly better than most while suffering a hangover or being drunk. Ten months after his marriage his wife sends him a "Dear John" letter. She tells him that she is filing for divorce. It seems like his charmed life is over.

Bill is fighting his demons. He has been running away from God for all of his life. God didn't help when men attacked and killed his mother. It seems that God has let him down every step of his life and he is wanting nothing to do with Him.

Even while rescuing himself and 2 of his friends, he calls on God but realizes that he is being a hypocrite by doing so. Through that heroic rescue he almost loses a leg. He does lose the ability to go back and finish out his tour of duty.

Once home he determines to find his ex-wife. Throughout the whole book God is placing people in Bill's life to show him the way to God. Each step of the way he rejects Him.

When I first picked up this book I really thought I would hate it! I am not a big fan of war stories and it seemed more of a "male" book to me. BUT, I was hooked very early in the story. I couldn't put it down. Being a lover of "The Happily Ever After" club I was disappointed at the ending of the story. Also, the Epilogue seemed a bit random. Those aside, it was an EXCELLENT story and I am happy I didn't put it down after reading the back of the book. It is not just a "guy" book.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Pure by Terra Elan McVoy

Tabitha and her friends have promised each other and God to not have sex until they are married. To show their commitment they each have a ring to signify their vow.

When one of the girls has sex it threatens to break up their whole friendship. Tabitha is sad that her friend made that choice and broke her promise, but Tabitha decides she needs to stick by her when the leader of the group wants nothing more to do with her.

Tabitha is caught in the middle. She wants to remain faithful to her promise. But she also doesn't believe that having sex is an "unforgivable" sin like her friend Morgan believes. Tabitha is sad to lose her best friend Morgan. But Tabitha cannot be as harsh as Morgan and ignore a friend in trouble.Tabitha struggles with the changes that have overcome their group of friends. She wants everything to be back the way it was, but struggles with the rift that has separated her and her best friend.

Wow! Terra McVoy has really captured the struggle that such a commitment involves. At first I thought that the author might poke fun at the millions of teens that have made that commitment. But I think she captured the reality of how difficult it is for people to remain pure when they are carried away by lustful feelings. There were times that I questioned whether I was going to like this book or not but in the end I really liked it. Thank you Ms. McVoy for a very thought-provoking read!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

This World We Live In by Susan Pfeffer

This is a re-post. I read this several months ago and since I had posted reviews of Life as we knew it and The Dead & The Gone I thought I would also post the link to my review of This World We Live In:

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Pfeffer

The Dead & The Gone is a companion to Life As We Knew It. At first I was a bit disappointed that it wasn't a sequel to Life As We Knew It. But I ended up liking The Dead & The Gone a bit more than Life As We Knew It.

When the meteor hits the moon Alex is at his work in New York City. With deadly tidal waves covering the city he rushes home to find his family. Not knowing if his parents are alive or dead, Alex is now responsible for taking care of his 2 sisters.

At first living in the city is much easier than what Miranda and her family are facing in the country. But things soon take a turn for the worse. As food supplies run out and winter sets in Alex and his sisters are forced to break into people's homes to find any food or warmth that they can find to survive.

I think this was a much darker book than Life as we Knew It, but I seemed to feel more for Alex and his sisers. The horrors that they see in the city are so vivid. It truly is the worst nightmare that a person can imagine.

Life As We Knew It by Susan Pfeffer

When the moon is hit by a meteor which moves it closer to earth, the life that Miranda and her family knew is now changed forever.

Thankfully Miranda's mother is a quick thinker. As soon as the catastrophe happens she rushes to the grocery store to stockpile food. They will need it in the coming months.

With the moon shifting closer to earth the seasons are now out of whack. Weather is very extreme and winter is bitter and miserable. People are dying from starvation and exposure to the harsh winter.

The story is told in diary form from Miranda's point of view. Sometimes the reader wants to reach into the story and smack Miranda and tell her to quit being so self-centered! Other than that I really got caught up in the story and the lives of the people in it. And it really does have you asking the question of yourself "What would I do?"

Prism by Faye Kellerman and Aliza Kellerman

Kaida, Zeke and Joy are all going on a class trip to Carlsbad Caverns. They are riding together with one of their teachers. While in the middle of the desert they end up in a crash. Everyone manages to escape the wreckage but they cannot find their teacher. When it starts pouring rain they take refuge in a cave. Trying to keep away from the opening Joy backs up into the cave and falls into a hole. While trying to rescue Joy, both Zeke and Kaida end up in the hole also. Searching for a way out they find themselves once again falling.

The story picks up with Kaida waking up thinking that she has had a bad dream. But it seemed so real to her. When she arrives at school she finds Zeke looking at her in an odd way. Realizing that they need to talk they meet up. While walking along they see a man hit by a car. Nobody helps him, pretty soon a van pulls up and men get out and load up the bleeding man. Everyone acts like nothing has happened. When Kaida mentions it at home to her brother she is told not to talk about it.

It doesn't take long for Kaida, Zeke and Joy to realize that they are not living in the same world that they left before the accident. Nobody mentions being sick. There are no hospitals and no drugs. To speak of these things could get you arrested.

While trying to find some "spills"(illegal medicine) to help heal Joy's arm and a friends mother the group is arrested and put into jail. Racing the clock to escape and find their way back to the exact spot that they arrived in is an exciting adventure.

I really enjoyed this book. It kept my attention and kept me on the edge of my seat. I think that Prism ended in a way that could leave an opening for a series or at least another book. I haven't heard or read anything that there will be, but I would look forward to a second book.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

It is the summer of 1899 and Calpurnia Tate(Callie) is 11 years old. Callie befriends her cantankerous grandfather whom for years has been a mystery to her. Being raised with 6 brothers Callie is very disturbed at her mother's attempts to make a lady out of her.

Callie spends her days with her grandfather exploring nature. On one of their excursions they find a possible new form of plant. They spend the summer anxiously waiting to hear if it is what they think it is.

Throughout the summer Callie learns to love her grandfather. She learns about nature around her. And she learns that there are responsibilities that she herself has as a growing young woman.

I loved this sweet novel! It made me laugh and it made me cry. I loved the relationship that Calpurnia formed with her grandfather. I loved the transformation of Calpurnia as she came to discover things for herself and became her own person while struggling against the restraints of the time period.  

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Break Reading Challenge Activity #9


Activity #9

We all have different tastes.  Today's activity is meant to help you get to know a little more about each other and talk about your favorite genre at the same time.  Here is what I want you to do:

1. Create a post about your favorite genre.  What do you read the most and why?  Look at the books you've read this year so far?  How many of those book are ones that fit in your favorite genre?

2. Come back here and link your post to Mr. Linky.

3. After some other people have posted about their favorite genres, go by and visit them.  At least a couple to say hello.

I think that my favorite genre has always been Mystery. Over the summer I read over 20 Agatha Christie books. I was housebound for several weeks and I got hooked on Agatha Christie again. I had read lots of her when I was younger. A friend of mine has every single Agatha Christie book so it was fun to place my "order" through e-mail to her and be able to borrow them. But I also love other mystery series. Jonathan Kellerman, Patricia Cornwell, Sue Grafton to name a few adult writers and then several YA writers. I think a close second in favorites is Romance. I like CLEAN romances. I have a lot of romance series. My favorite romances are Christian romances. My favorite author for that is Lori Wick. Another favorite author for romance with a twist of mystery is Dee Henderson. For my favorite non-Christian romance I have to go with Stephenie Meyer and the Twilight series. They are essentially clean(although the last book can give you the vapors!). So many books are favorites but don't fit into one absolute favorite book being Pride and Prejudice.

A Shore Thing by Julie Carobini

Callie loves her hometown of Otter Bay. When she spots 3 men surveying the shore she is extremely upset to see one of the men throw his nasty cigar onto the ground. The animal wildlife is just returning to Otter Bay and Callie is determined to see it continue to grow. When she confronts the men she finds that they are definately surveying the area for development. That immediately embarks Callie on a crusade to save the area.

Gage is an architect hired to come up with plans for the new developement. Having left his last job because of ethical questions, he is now trying to be out on his own. Starting over in Otter Bay and this new project is the perfect way to start his own business. He and Callie clash from the moment they meet. Yet something sparks an attraction between them.

Both Callie and Gage not only struggle with the attraction that they have for each other, but also they each are having personal struggles with their faith. Gage is once more finding himself in a position where his ethics will be questioned. Callie is being threatened to stop her efforts to save the property for the community. They eventually find that God is more important than their efforts and He has a plan for both of them.

This is an ARC copy of this book. It has the potential of being a good story. I am hoping that before it goes on sale that there will be some editing taking place. The story switches back and forth between Gage's point of view and Callie's point of view. When we are reading Callie's point of view it is told in first person using "I" "me" etc. But when we are reading Gage's point of view it is told in a different tense and I think that the author slips up and switches different tenses. It was a bit distracting.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Status Update for Spring Break 2010

Well I can tell you all right now that my goals at the beginning of Spring Break were awfully lofty! I feel like I have chased my tail all week-long. Needless to say there has been little time for reading. As you can see I am still on the same book that I started at the beginning of the break. Ack! I so wanted to whittle down my "to-read" pile. And that is another thing~when I set the goal at the beginning of the year to read through that pile my friend asked me "how will you do that when you always keep adding books?" I pshawed her! Now I am eating humble pie! Because I have done exactly that! I get so many new books to read and they all look so much more interesting than the ones on my shelf that I just keep adding to it. I am finding myself wanting to visit my OLD friends like the Twilight series again and a couple of other series that I love to read. But alas I have no time for those old favorites. I am filling in some of my reading time reading through my Trixie Belden series. I haven't been posting reviews because I thought I would get through the whole series and then do one post. It is moving steadily. On the upside of this break I did manage to get my house clean in time for my daughter's 18th birthday party which was fun with family and friends. And today I am going to get my hair cut and colored so that I will look halfway decent when we go back to work. Right now my goal is to finish getting my shopping list ready so that we can go grocery shopping before the big snow storm hits...yes, I said SNOW! And frankly I am sick of it! But first before anything else I'm going to the spring break reading challenge and claim the prize I won...another book to add to my to read shelf!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break Reading Challenge Activity #5

Spring Break Reading Challenge

There are many things that prevent us from doing some of the things we want to.  For instance, I really want to read this week, but we recently purchased a new Chihuahua puppy so a lot of my time is going to be focused on watching her to make sure she doesn't have "accidents" on the carpet.  I've never crate trained or house trained a puppy before so I'm really nervous about it.  I feel like I'm going to have to watch her like a hawk so I she doesn't "go" on the carpet.  

For today's Activity, 1) create a blog post talking about the things that prevent you from getting things done.  It could be reading, updating your blog, or anything else you try to do and 2) can you come up with a plan to get past your obstacle?

My answers:

There are so many things that I want to get done over spring break. But I am feeling overwhelmed so therefore I don't even start a project.

For instance: I wanted to clean out a spare room. I opened the door, moved a few things around and realized that there is a lot of work to be done and nowhere else to put stuff so I turned out the light and walked out of the room!

I would love to read. I set a goal of 6 books over the break. That is so not going to happen! And as much as I love reading and I love feeling the accomplishment of a goal met I think I might have to let this one go.

I need to dust...about halfway through that project right now, but I got to the computer desk and darn, the computer called to me so here I sit!

I wanted to clean out a craft closet also but doesn't look like that is going to happen.

My absolute must is to get busy and clean the "visible" parts of the house so that company can come over for my daughters 18th birthday. WHICH I still have to finish planning and shopping for.

Plan to get things done? One bite at a time and maybe expect some things to not get done and realize that that is okay too.

Off to finish dusting!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring Break Reading Challenge Activity #3


Spring Break Reading Challenge

1. A Shore Thing by Julie Carobini(ARC copy from publisher)


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Callie Duflay just isn’t like the rest of her family. While they’ve built white collar lives, she prefers getting her hands dirty by working with children and local California causes. When Callie learns that a beloved piece of untouched property in her town of Otter Bay may soon be developed, she confronts the architect assigned to the project. 

Gage Mitchell may be an easygoing, eco-friendly professional, but he’s not about to back off this job no matter how cute Callie or her pet pooch, Moondoggy, may be. His reasons and hers are noble—both have a heart for protecting God’s creation, and the truth is these two would be perfect for each other outside of this face-off. But will they ever figure that out? 

4. I'm only 34 pages into the book so am not real sure if I am enjoying it or not. Today I plan to take a lot of time to just read and hopefully get into it.


Friday, March 12, 2010

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu

Lucy's mom is a hoarder. Lucy can never bring anyone over to her home because she is too embarrassed to let anyone see the inside of her house.  Her older sister and older brother have both moved out of the house. Lucy has a year and a half before she graduates from high school and goes to college. With so much stuff crammed in every room, a kitchen that has not been used for years, bathrooms that barely work Lucy spends a lot of time at her best friends home. She lives in fear that her friend will someday see the inside of her home and be so freaked out about it that she will not be her friend anymore.

When the unexpected happens how far will Lucy go to protect her family from being exposed?

Dirty Little Secrets gives a person a glimpse of what a hoarders life is like. And the affects that it can have on the whole family. I thought the story was well written. I felt for Lucy as her mother was always blaming her for the mess that their house was always in. I felt for her also as she struggled to keep the secret of her mother's sickness from her friends and community.

Spring Break Reading Challenge Activity #1

Spring Break Reading Challenge


Welcome everyone!  Today is the first day of the Spring Break Reading Challenge.  The first activity is going to be easy.  All I'm asking is that you set a simple goal.  This could be anything.  Maybe you want to read 1 book during the week.  Maybe you want to organize your bookshelves.  Perhaps you need to catch up on writing some reviews.  The Spring Break Reading Challenge is meant to fit your needs.

Be sure to create a blog post including your goals and come back here and link to that post using Mr. Linky.  Include the Spring Break Reading Challenge button to you post if you can.  Maybe you can encourage others to join us for this fun-filled week.

My Goals for the Spring Break:

1. I am hoping to read 6 books
2. Spring cleaning
3. Celebrating my daughters 18th birthday(my baby!)
4. Visiting with my grandbabies(they will be visiting for a couple of days).
5. sanding and staining twin beds for my grandbabies
6. read, read and then read some more.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Demon by Tosca Lee

Clay is an editor at a publishing company. He is also trying to rebuild his life after his wife of 5 years has left him for another man.

Lucian is a demon. He starts visiting Clay taking on different human forms. Lucian wants Clay to write his(Lucian's) story. Lucian is one of the fallen angels. He was banished to roam the earth with Satan and the rest of the host that followed him.

Clay is facinated with Lucian's story. He seems unable to keep himself from writing each encounter down exactly as Lucian tells him. Lucian starts with the banishment of Satan and his followers. He then moves on to the creation and fall of man. Lucian is resentful that God loved the humans more than he loved himself and the other fallen. He is also resentful that God showed so much patience with the human race even when humans rejected His Son. Lucian seems to get angrier and more impatient with Clay the more that they meet. He is obsessed with time and keeps insinuating that there is not much time left for he and Clay to meet. He then insists that the story is no longer his(Lucian's) story, but that it is Clay's story.

This story was at times interesting and then other times confusing to me. I think that Tosca Lee was trying to impart that we all have a choice to make. Whether we are going to follow Christ or Satan. Also that our time here in the flesh is limited and we better make that choice early on before it is too late. Also that Satan will use any lie he can to keep us from seeing our need for a Savior. An interesting read from an interesting perspective.

Friday, March 5, 2010


My friend Karin and I have really enjoyed our Edifying and Edgy blog site. If you haven't checked it out go to We are so excited about it that we are having a 100 followers contest. Be one of the 100 followers of our site and be eligible for the drawing to win 2 books. Here is the information from our site. REALLY, you have to go check it out. We think it is a great idea and are having a lot of fun with it.
Once Edifying and Edgy reaches 100 followers, we'll give away a 2 book prize pack. You could win BAD GIRLS DON'T DIE by Katie Alender (Karin's pick) and THE TOTAL TRAGEDY OF A GIRL NAMED HAMLET by Erin Dionne (Julie's pick).

Just to clarify! The 100th follower isn't automatically the winner. Every one of our followers will be eligible. As soon as we hit 100 we'll choose a winner.

Models Don't Eat Chocolate Cookies by Erin Dionne

Celeste Harris used to not think anything about her weight. But when a girl named Lively starts calling her names and when her aunt enters her into the Miss Husky Peach pageant Celeste decides it is time to do something.

Not wanting to be in the pageant Celeste plans on losing weight so that she will no longer be the type of model that the judges for Miss Husky Peach are looking for.

Losing her best friend to her tormentors only cements Celeste's determination to lose weight even when the chocolate cookies call to her.

Celeste agrees to enter the first round of the Miss Husky Peach contest with plans to sabotage her ability to win. There are things though that she likes about the pageant. She meets some new girls that are also competing that are encouraging to her. She has a stylist that helps her with her make-up and hair style. As she realizes that she isn't all of the names that she has been called she slowly gains confidence in herself.

Being able to overcome the heart-break of losing her best friend and to withstand all of the teasing from her tormentors we are able to see Celeste grow up and gain confidence in herself. There were some humorous parts in the story. I especially loved when it comes out that Lively wears water-bra's in order to enhance her bust! It made for some very humorous incidents. Even though that makes for great poetic justice though, I think Celeste's ultimate triumph is learning to be comfortable with who she is.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

Scarlett Martin and her family own and operate a hotel in the middle of New York City. Whenever one of the Martin kids turn 15 they are assigned a room in the hotel to be in charge of. Scarlett is assigned the Empire Suite. Shortly after her birthday and room assignment Mrs. Amberson becomes a permanent resident in the Empire Suite.

Scarlett's brother Spencer is an actor. He has a scholarship to a culinary school that his parents want him to attend. Spencer wants to focus on his acting. He joins a small troupe of actors putting on a version of Hamlet.

Lorna, Scarlett's older sister is dating a boy who's family is very rich. Scarlett and Spencer think that she is dating him for his money because she doesn't act like a girl in love. Lorna thinks she would like to be part of the "rich world" but soon finds that she doesn't fit in with the stuck up crowd.

Marlene is the youngest. Marlene is in remission from Leukemia. Marlene is a bit spoiled and gets whatever she wants.

At first the story shows the disfunctional relationships between all of the siblings. Scarlett and Spencer are close and Lorna and Marlene are close. By the end of the story they are all working together towards one goal, making sure that Spencer gets his chance to act rather than having to go to culinary school to help out the family business.

I had a hard time getting into this story but by the end I was engaged in all of the characters and was quickly turning pages to find out how everything turned out. There are a few curse words in the story and a mild kissing scene with a mention of condoms but for the most part this is a pretty solid middle school book.